Civilian AR-15 Rifle: Our Senior Citizen

This honorable senior citizen has been disrespected and demonized by subversive elements that prefer American citizens to be unarmed. Permit me here to share a collection of clarification thoughts and expose more of the malicious opposing sound- bite propaganda and disinformation.

Proudly made in America, the civilian AR-15 in .223 Remington is almost 60 years old. In 1957, three ArmaLite designers created the AR-15 in caliber .223 Remington, a varmint cartridge. Put in public service in 1958, ArmaLite eventually sold the design to Colt who owns the AR-15 trademark. Today, there are over a dozen companies making this civilian semi-automatic rifle.


One Olympic Sport is the Javelin, (Spear), throw. Almost anywhere in the civilized world, you will find both recreational sport and organized Archery competition. In enlightened countries you will also find pistol, shotgun and rifle recreation and organized sports competition. Of course, the original purpose of Spears, Bows/Arrows and Firearms were for hunting, self-defense, and war. Each was a natural evolution in effectiveness for hunting, defense and war. So too is it true with the honorable AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, as seen in both nationwide informal recreational target practice and in organized competition.


On FOX TV, commenting on the Orlando Dance Club terrorist attack, (Not an AR-15), and how some corrupted thinkers would try to make this a gun problem, LTC Allen West made an excellent point about those that would demonize and outlaw inanimate objects. He compared the gun-grabbing folks to those who would want to blame airplanes for the attack on Pearl Harbor instead of the then Japanese ideology that caused an unprovoked act of war. Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst for Fox News, indirectly supports LTC West’s comment in his four minute video about a Secret No-Fly List and secret standards: list/?#)

Disloyal Americans, including elected officials, will use any heartbreaking incident to advance their clandestine disarming goal by trying to make this an anti-gun issue rather than focus on the criminal Islamist ideology that spawned yet another such attack on our country. Those that would disarm us have revealed an M.O. of extensive strategizing between tragedies to prepare a new insidious plan, or rehash an old one, waiting like snakes in the grass to capitalize on the next active killer or terrorist incident.

On the Orlando Night Club incident, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Kevin O’Brien had something to say via an op-ed entitled “Democrats make a show of farce over gun control." This was a reference to some Congressmen and Congresswomen having an against-the- rules sit-down behaving like children with a temper tantrum in our House of Representatives. The sit-down lasted just long enough for a photo-op. O’Brian said “If they had actually stayed and spent the long days of inactivity on serious introspection, they might have realized that the proposals over which they embarrassed themselves are just partisan publicity stunts... To solve that problem, they’re willing – even eager – to take guns out of the hands of good people. That does not make sense."

Telling outright lies is not beyond the gun-ban group. For example, the Glock pistol is now 37 years old. When it was introduced, U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum never hid his un-American anti-gun position. However, his stating that the polymer frame Glock pistol was made by terrorists for terrorists to smuggle through airport metal detectors was an outrage. Factually, disassembled, even the Glock’s polymer frame has enough metal in it to set off a metal detector. By weight, the Glock is 85% metal. The Glock was designed in 1979 by honorable and patriotic Austrians for their military and police contract.

The Glock pistol entered Austrian military and police service by 1982 after it was the top performer on an exhaustive series of reliability and safety tests. The worldwide success of Glock in both military and law enforcement since is a significant accomplishment. For example, Glock pistols command more than 65% of today’s American law enforcement market and also has a very large following of civilian Glock owners. Officials, un- American gun-grabbers and media that misinform the public cannot plead innocent illiteracy with firearms. Whatever happened to real investigative journalism? They knew or should have known. Their inaccuracies are intentional propaganda.


Those that refer to the AR-15 as high-powered are disseminating false nonsense. The .223 Remington is a mild-recoiling caliber manageable by a diminutive person. Early on, the .223 Remington was considered a varmint cartridge, (suitable for prairie dogs, ground squirrels, gophers, including larger vermin like ground hogs and rock chucks),. The .223 Remington is one of the most popular rifle cartridges in the United States, being widely used in two types of rifles: (1) varmint rifles, most of which are bolt action and (2) semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 types, Ruger Mini-14 and others.

The AR-15 original chamber specification, the .223 Remington, is not a military caliber. Among the various .22 calibers, the .223, and the military 5.56 x 45mm are not the most powerful. The .223 Remington is a cartridge that is ballistically in-between its predecessors, the .222 Remington, and the .222 Remington Magnum.

Is the AR-15 in .223 Remington enough for deer? Perhaps not. For example, some states forbid deer hunting with the .223 caliber as it is judged to not be powerful enough. As a contrast, a popular deer rifle caliber, the .30/30, is itself only a medium power rifle caliber and it is far more powerful than the low powered .223 Remington.

Our Spec-Op troops, (such as Delta Force, SEALS, Special Forces, Etc.), have a lot of trigger-time in wartime combat with the 5.56mm in their fully automatic M-16/M-4 and machinegun platforms. It is no secret that they have lodged legitimate concerns about the lack of stopping power with the 5.56mm. Multiple hits are often required, especially on terrorists hopped up on the Khat that they chew.


The semi-automatic AR-15 was designed primarily for use by citizens. Those that would deny loyal law abiding citizens of most common firearms, falsely call the AR-15 “Automatic” are aimed at the unenlightened to have them mistakenly think fully automatic as in the military M-16/M- 4 machineguns. Factually, the AR-15, like any revolver, semi-auto pistol, semi-auto shotgun or any other semi-automatic rifle, discharges only once with each trigger press.


No military in the world would seriously consider using a semi-automatic AR-15 as an assault rifle. Contrary to our second amendment rights, those who would disarm America use that definition to demonize for their intended prohibition of public ownership. A simple definition of an assault rifle would be a rifle that can shoot multiple bullets quickly and that is designed for use by the military. Another definition would be a select-fire, (operator chooses semi-auto or full automatic), rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. An intermediate cartridge would typically be in the .30 caliber family such as the 7.62 x 39mm or the newer .300 Blackout.

Although nearly identical in external appearance, civilian semi-automatic AR-15s are internally different than the full automatic M16/M-4, The hammer and trigger mechanisms are of a different design. The bolt carrier and internal lower receiver of semi-automatic versions are milled differently, so that the firing mechanisms are not interchangeable. It is unlawful to convert an AR-15 to full automatic.


For six decades, the AR-15 has loyally served the public in different capacities and was rarely used in crime. ALL types of rifles together have never been a major factor in crime or homicides. The last time I looked at the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, the role of rifles was at a statistically insignificant three percent. In spite of this, in 1994 disloyal gun-grabbing legislators were successful in getting a temporary “Sunset” ban on sales of semi-automatic type rifles, including the AR-15. As usual the law only infringed on the rights of honest law abiding folks, having little to no effect on criminals and terrorists who typically do not obtain their weapons legally.

This alleged Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), was officially couched in political double talk as the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act. This was a law that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use incorrectly defined as assault weapons, often categorized by mere cosmetic features, as well as certain ammunition magazines it defined as "large capacity."

The ten-year ban was passed in 1994, and was eagerly signed into law by President Bill Clinton the very same day. In accordance with its sunset provision, it expired in 2004. There were multiple attempts to renew the ban, but none succeeded. Having had no effect on crime, after the ban expired, sales of semi-auto and AR type rifles skyrocketed, while crime went down.

While our senior citizen AR-15 may not have changed much over it’s lifetime, criminals and terrorists have. As a helpful analogy, all of the laws on drugs and narcotics have wiped them both off the face on the earth, right? Of course not! The black market is flourishing with both drugs and narcotics. Criminals and terrorists will always be able to acquire firearms on the black market to prey upon unarmed or disarmed innocents.

Common sense would dictate that since that is so, citizens must continue to press for their right to be armed. Perhaps an AR-15 and a Glock are just the possessions that citizens need to insure their right to be armed.

About the author: Ron Borsch manages the PACT Consultant Group which does pro-bono presentations for civic groups and churches. After triple volunteering for the Army, Paratrooper training and Viet-Nam, (1965-66 101st Airborne), he served 30 years as a Bedford ,Ohio Police Officer. As a second career, supported by the seven SEALE Chiefs of Police, he founded and from 1998 to 2015, was the manager and lead trainer for SEALE Regional Police Training Academy in Bedford ,Ohio. From the original seven police departments, Ron eventually had over one hundred law enforcement agencies from ten states attending the academy. Ron is presently on the (smart phone app directly notifying police officers on patrol) advisory panel. For the last several years at the International Law Enforcement and Educators Training Association in Chicago IL, (ILEETA), Ron has served on two panels of experts. As a Rapid Mass Murder© countermeasure subject matter expert, his research quotes have appeared nationally and in both French and British media.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on this website on July 12, 2016.

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